• 7 May 2012
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 89 Comments
  • Persian Gulf

The Persian GulfIf you have visited Google Maps recently, you may have noticed that Google has removed the title of the Persian Gulf—leaving the body of water without a name.

This follows Google’s 2008 decision to include the historically inaccurate and politically charged name “Arabian Gulf” alongside “Persian Gulf” in their Google Earth application.

The name “Persian Gulf” is historically accurate, legally acknowledged, apolitical and internationally recognized.  But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool—including by the likes of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

In 2004, NIAC successfully worked with National Geographic to correct its maps that used the erroneous title for the Persian Gulf.  Now, we need to act to make sure Google is not a tool of historical revisionism that sows ethnic and political divisions.

Sign your name on our open letter to Google’s CEO Larry Page to call on Google to stop playing name games with the Persian Gulf and to use the correct name.  We will send the letter out on Monday, May 14, so make sure that you, your friends, and your family sign on to the letter before then.

NIAC will protect your privacy and keep you informed about this and similar campaigns. 

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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Posted By NIAC

    89 Responses to “Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!”

  1. Sam Izadi says:

    Could it becau$e of the almighty $$$$$!! $ince the Arab$ $pend more in adverti$ing than us Iranian’s, Google i$ watching it$ profit and doing thi$ ?

  2. Ali Salamatian says:

    Persian Gulf has been named as Persian Gulf for thousands of years and it will not be changed to anything else in our life time.

  3. Hamidreza Amanatkar says:

    ??

  4. Ali Lavassani says:

    Persian Gulf is what it is: “Persian Gulf”. Arabs have to get a life and realize that they are no challenge to the great Persians.

  5. Thomas Dolder says:

    This latest issue, orchestrated by the US political clique, and Google, as being ridiculously manipulated, proves how politically weak this nation has become, using this primitive tool against a sovereign country to discriminate it.

  6. Sadegh Mianabi says:

    Shame on you Google! while you are at it lets change the name of Mexican Golf to American Golf, or Indian Ocean to Pakistanian Ocean. I am sure Pakistanies can pay few bilion dollars to have their own ocean.

  7. Nadia Sorkhabi says:

    If we are going to omit names altogether or change names why don’t we change the Indian Ocean to the Pakistani Ocean? How ridiculous that this is even an ongoing problem. Why is it that only the name of the Persian Gulf is challeneged. As Ferdousi (the great Iranian poet)put it the great lion is surrounded by enemies!

  8. Farid Rostam says:

    Persain Gulf is the right name to use. Unless you have failed history.

  9. ali says:

    can please ask for Kashmir to see it’s belong to Pakistan or India??!!!!!!!!!.

  10. fereshteh zare says:

    Who is Google to decide on the World History and geography?
    Google should stick to its advertising and making money and leave the rest to those who have read a few books if they are not from the region.

  11. Maneck Bhujwala says:

    Scholars do painstaking research to determine the truth from the debris of false reports and present it to the world. The Persian empires ruled by Zarathushti (Zoroastrian)rulers for over a thousand years spanned a huge multi-ethnic, multi-religious region from the borders of Greece in the west to the borders of China in the east and North India in the south. Persian emporer Darius the Great constructed the precursor of the Suez canal. Even today the Straits of Hormuz and the port of Hormuz bear the name of the one God of Zarathushtis, Hormuz (shortened form of Ahuramazda).

    Playing with history to appease Arabs and belittle Iran because it wants to be a nuclear power, does terrible harm to historical correctness and is not worthy of a great company like Google. We expect much better from Google.

    Maneck Bhujwala
    Co-founder Zoroastrian Associations of Northern & Southern California

    • Armin Syrus says:

      Well said my Zorastrian friend, You still have the persian blood in you. Arab nations which happen to be moslem too are very similar to parasite or leach. They find a health , wealthy rich nation then attack that nation with thier fulse prophecy. Thier start draining their power , wealth, society’s moral and basically everthing they have and then leave to dead. This is what happen to us Persian 1400 years ago. After they defeated us and got whatever we have had they start eating all middle east and they were close to Europe door step which thankfull got stop cause they ran out of steam. Today history repeats. They now turn around and look what else thay can get may be try to see if they
      can change the name of Persian Gulf.I am sure they love to see the US falls and Europe drowned and bankruped.

  12. Pars says:

    Those Arab puppet regimes will be gone from south of Persian Gulf sooner than later, they are guest states and no one should change the historic name.

    Long live Iran and Persian Gulf.

  13. Pars says:

    عربهای ملخ خور انگل هستند که انگلیسی‌ها برای حفظ منافعشون به جنوب خلیج همیشگی‌ِ فارس آوردند حتا اون خانواده صعودی که اسم خودشون را روی مملک عربستان گذاشته باید بروند. ایران باید برای مدتی رفتن به مکّه را ممنوع کنند تا کشور‌های مسلمان دیگر هم پیروی نموده و رژیم‌های دست نشانده پیرو اسرائیل را ساقط کنند. اینها از قانون تفرقه انداز و حکومت کن استفاده میکنند

  14. Mazdak Maleki says:

    The Google equation:

    Saudi Arab citizens kill over 3600 Americans on 9/11 =
    Rewarding them with the removal of the name of Persian Gulf

    Who is wiping who off the map now?

  15. S.M says:

    ماییم، که از پادشهان تاج گرفتیم
    ملک و زر و تختشان به تاراج گرفتیم
    ماییم، عرب را به چه جایی برساندیم
    آن ملخ خور برهنه پا را به نوایی برساندیم
    ماییم، جهان خسته ز افسانه گی ما
    افتاده به زانو پی بخشندگی ما
    ماییم، که گر خشم برآریم
    دمار از همه اعراب در آریم
    عرب گر سماء را به ارض آورد
    خلیج عرب را به رویا بگورش برد

  16. Saman Naeen says:

    PERSIAN GULF FOREVER!

  17. Hi

    How is about Arabian sea and Oman sea, why they should not be Iranian sea and Persian sea? Why they should have named after them?

  18. ABBAS BOROUJERDI says:

    Persian Gulf is not a new name in the world history, it is a very old name for many centuries.Dear Google, don’t make yourself fool.

  19. shahed says:

    shame on you google.

  20. Saeed says:

    Just search in google map and click on report the problem and ask why the name is not there.

  21. John Perry says:

    Ancient geographers also called the Gulf of Oman and part of the Arabian Sea ‘the Persian Sea’ (mare persicum). I suggest we start reversing this silly Arabizing trend by calling this body of water off Iran’s southeast coast ‘The Gulf of Baluchistan’ (which should not annoy Pakistan); and the Arabian Sea might also be designated the ‘Indo-Iranian Sea’. If the Arabs feel miffed, they could rename the Red Sea (which is not quite so ruddy these days) ‘The Arabian Gulf’.

  22. Hasen says:

    The world has many issues and you people are worried about a golf name. Give me a break! Google doesn’t decide the names. Google doesn’t make any name official. You people always have an excuse to fight over

    • Armin Syrus says:

      yes Mr Hasen, the world has many problem and this one of them. I am not sure what your back ground is calling ” You people ” is offensive. We Iranian do not give any body a break why should we! did anybody gave us a break! Google in fact make a decision of what , where should be called based on historical fact but choose to not to do it this time cause of Arab’s dollars. Persian Gulf has always been called Persian Gulf for thousands of years and a country with 37 years of history can not change the fact.

    • William Wallace III says:

      “you people are worried about a golf name”

      I am actually worried about my golf game, but not its name – this one happens to be about a GULF name –
      As a great philospher, William Wallace once said, first they take your name, then they take your family, then they take your freedom!

  23. Sama says:

    NIAC: Please consider putting this petition on “Petiononline” and similar sites for maximum exposure and impact. Thank you.

  24. reza says:

    I would have to question Google’s integrity and ideology. I have cracked my android phone…..Yahoo is saved on my favorites and I refused to use Google’s marketing tools and I will spread the work on how googles steals and sells people information on a disguise pretension title such as consumer intelligence.

  25. Sunny says:

    Hello,
    How those arabe “SLAVES” are sticking this to us again. Guess what though, the name “PERSIAN GULF” will “NEVER, EVER” change till the world ends or freez over. Every men, women and or childeren will fight to our last drop of blood if anything less than “PERSIAN GULF” taks place. SCREW YOU GOOGLE. That is why i use MICROSOFT “BING” MAP & SEARCH. “BING” is million times better search and map, than crapy garbage “arab lover” google.

  26. Nas says:

    I wonder what might be the Google’s objective for playing this game.

  27. Arab Boy says:

    All you Persians do is complain about everything. You are so fearful of losing your precious name…

    Why don’t you all slick your hair back, wear all of your gold at the same time and talk about what type of BMW or Mercedes you drive and leave stop wasting peoples time with your complaining.

    The best part of Iran comes out of the tailpipe of my car in the form of fumes!

    • Sunny says:

      First, FYI, We will NEVER, EVER be fearful. We kicked sadams ass and helped the Kuwait people when they got screwed by your own kind, wonderful garbage sadam. We will NEVER be fearful. Persian gulf it’s ours and will be ours for EVER, you forgot who is fighting for Palestinians (I don’t think and of your rich brave arab buddy’s EVER HELPED them)? FYI, if it wasn’t for us Iranian, you guys would be nothing. Also, on your comment about BMW and Mercedes, Your arab kings and princesses, sheikhs rich buddy’s don’t? Just like any other countries, we have rich and selfish people too. I myself do NOT drive BMW or Mercedes’s or care to own one. I love Hyundai cars and Ford trucks and will take them any day overpriced Mercedes or BMWs. That is only 1 or 2% of Iranians that love material things. However, when it comes to our country and what belongs to us for thousands of years, we will fight to our last drop of blood. Read the history and you will learn what we have done for arabs and you would not make those stupid comments or think we are all the same as handful of selfish people that you met.

  28. William Wallace III says:

    Doesn’t Google have something better to do these days than running around and trying to please its wealthy UAE donors? Is this Google’s way of fundraising in anticipation of a judgement against them with Oracle??? Let’s rename Gulf of Mexico to Gulf of Texas next?!

  29. mehran says:

    what do you want google?just money?he he he

  30. medi says:

    shame on you google, we are perisan and we are proud of it. not you or anyone else can take taht a way from us. we are the childern of “cyrus the great”. we been around for over 3000 years and we will be here long after google is gone. LONG LIVE THE LAND OF CYRUS.

  31. lori george says:

    yes, right.

  32. sanaz Jabbari says:

    Sham on on Goolge!

  33. Alireza says:

    Shame on you Google!!we know this game better than you do! you’ve started it…we will finish it!!

  34. Abarvand says:

    Persian Gulf
    • During the Achaemenid Empire (Hakhamanishian) was called Darya Parsa
    • Strabo and Ptolemy: both of these Greek geographers used the name “Persian Gulf” to refer to the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran.
    Note that they called the Red Sea Sinus Arabicus (Arabian Gulf).
    • In the early Islamic era, Muslim geographers did the same, calling the body Baḥr Fāris (Persian Sea) or Khalīj Fāris (Persian Gulf).
    • Later, most European maps from the early Modern Times onwards used similar terms (Sinus Persicus, Persischer Golf, Golfo di Persia and the like, in different languages).

    So what is wrong with the Arabs? Are they thinking that money can buy everything?

  35. Yr says:

    arabs gace google company mony to change the name of persian gulf, the whole world knows it is pesian gulf for over 3000 years…really shame on you

  36. Milad says:

    Once upon a time , violence against the truth and nowadays Money against it !

  37. Mohammad says:

    So…!

    as they Said before:
    ONLY MONEY TALKS!!

  38. ali azarpajoh says:

    shame on google!!! we should chang name of google too yahoo!!!

  39. S says:

    Google is illitrated which DOES NOT have the knowledge of history and geography. They need some people to teach them!
    Poor, poor, poor Google DOES NOT know anything about the Persian Gulf and its origins ha, ha, ha , he, he, he ,ha, ha, ha
    Hey Google (Gagaale) how sweet is Arabian $$$$$$$$$$$$$$????

  40. Amir says:

    While I agree that the name of the body of water always has been and always will be the Persian Gulf, there is no need for any racist or Islamophobic comments.

    As a community we do disservice to this noble cause by posting hateful comments. Instead we should focus on defending history from inaccurate and racism-based historical revisionism (e.g. the renaming of the Persian Gulf and the attribution of Persian scholars and poets, such as Avicenna and Rumi, as being Arab or Turkish).

    • Mim says:

      Well said!!! Name calling is beneath us. Instead we should explore other measures like boycotts and/or legal action against Google.

  41. Joh Bassir says:

    ….. How do you decide that the name is changed !
    You may as well call it the Mexican gulf !! this is how sick this sounds !
    This is distribution of wrongful information.

    Persian golf is and has been the name for over thousands of years !! I don’t see why your changing or messing with its name so often !!

  42. mitrapour says:

    we are the people of Iran not the government ,Governments come and go its vs the people who will remain. have you though about that Google?WE(IRANIANS)are peace full people.its the Arabs who had been and will be terrorist throughout the history.(PERSIAN GULF ITS BETTER FOR EVER)

  43. mitrapour says:

    PUT(PERSIAN GULF )back on the map its better for ever

  44. etro says:

    i like to inform All Arabs ,that Persian Gulf is Persian Gulf and if they spend Million of Dollar to just chenge the name ,they are in Dreams.We never allows anyone to change the correct name of Persian Gulf.and we advaice Google also to stop this game and play.

  45. Olga says:

    i am russian nationality living in Moscow ,as i underestand all our books in School and univercity always mentioned as Persian Gulf and no other names.therefore i asked Google they dont have right to write incorrect name even if they received lot of money.i belive Google management also read in School and their Univercity the same name of ” Persian Gulf”.

  46. sara says:

    that is forever Persian gulf,anybody can not change this true,so… Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

  47. Zagrosi says:

    I agree with Amir, national or cultural pride doesn’t have to denote the hatred of anyone else’s culture or religion. In fact, national pride defined in such negative terms lacks honesty and integrity. We Iranians can point to many reasons for our pride and gratitude for belonging to this noble and ancient family. For starters we have the light of Arya burning in our hearts (who could ask for more).

  48. H. Banakar says:

    For those who are following the politics of the region the source of this provocation is not a mystery. The non-aligned countries in UN should be persuaded to join forces to pass a resolution equating such “name changes” to territorial encroachment, with well-defined legal and financial consequences.

    When such provocations, by countries or companies with political agendas, are countered merely with empty rhetoric, those behind them are emboldened. If this goes without a concrete response at the UN, I foresee the next step by these elements would be to rename southern Iranian provinces with Arabic names, as a prelude to starting a “liberation movement” in the south. Therefore I plead to all Iranian patriots to take this issue seriously and respond to it as strongly as they can.

  49. Shadi says:

    Hey Google, you cannot change the history, nor anyone else. PERSIAN GULF is always PERSIAN GULF.

  50. Shadi says:

    PERSIAN GULF FOREVER NO MORE NO LESS

  51. Shadi says:

    GOOGLE !! YOU MUST KNOW PERSIAN GULF FOREVER

  52. fanak says:

    PERSIAN GULF FOREVER

  53. fanak says:

    that is forever Persian gulf,anybody can not change this true

  54. fanak says:

    PUT( PERSIAN GULF )back on the map its better forever

  55. vida says:

    that is forever Persian gulf,anybody can not change this true

  56. vida says:

    PERSIAN GULF FOREVER

  57. vida says:

    JUST PRESIAN GULF

  58. fateme says:

    only & only persian gulf

  59. fateme says:

    HEY GOOGLE !!! you have to know PERSIAN GULF FOREVER

  60. fateme says:

    just PERSIAN GULF FOREVER

  61. ebi says:

    PERSIAN GULF FOREVER. we are the people of Iran not government,Governments come and go its us the people who will remain .have you though about that Google??

  62. MONIR says:

    persian gulf forever

  63. hadi says:

    Persian Gulf +2500 years old
    google 14 years old
    Hey google!
    YOU CAN NOT CHANGE HISTORY

  64. hadi says:

    PPERSIAN GULF FOREVEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRR

  65. farzane says:

    google please put persian gulf in google map

  66. farzane says:

    Google, you cannot change the history, nor anyone else. Persian Gulf is always Persian Gul

  67. farzane says:

    Google! Did you every look at your books when you where in school , i guess you didn’t , maybe you have been good at math but you know no thing about history . PERSIAN GOLF is not just a name . It’s histories about the people whom lived and live around this golf and effected all the world some 1000s years . You have no right and you can not delete this historical name as you did on Google services… . Tel us please ,how much did they pay you to do it ?! Shame on you ! Persian gulf forever! Persian gulf forever!Persian gulf forever!Persian gulf forever!Persian gulf forever!Persian gulf forever!Persian gulf forever!Persian gulf forever!Persian gulf forever!

  68. vida says:

    Bing is still calling the Persian Gulf by its correct name. I’m switching to Bing unill Google corrects this mistake.

  69. neda says:

    Persian Gulf has been named as Persian Gulf for thousands of years and it will not be changed to anything else in our life time.

  70. shima says:

    We are still here!!
    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Persian Gulf Forever♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Persian Gulf Forever♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Persian Gulf Forever♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  71. sia norouzi says:

    It has been Persian Gulf and it will remain Persian Gulf forever.

  72. Hamed Norouzi says:

    It was Persian Gulf and will remain as it is.

  73. shamel rezvani says:

    forever persion gulf & shame on google

  74. Joe says:

    More than 2500 years there was a country with the name of Persia if you refer to bible was called and still calls persian gulf fore more than six hundred there was no independent arabian country in that area when the turkish empire was ruling them even during the turkish empire was called persian gulf is shame that arabs dont read history or think history started from 1400 year ago and more shame for google which r using this to divide the poor people of that area.

  75. sara fakhary says:

    PPERSIAN GULF FOREVEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRR

  76. sara fakhary says:

    PPERSIAN GULF FOREVEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRR nobody can changes it neveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer

  77. mitrapour says:

    for ARABS;It’s been 1400 years that you think you can change our culture and you can’t and you won’t be able to ,just like you couldn’t take Parse language from us.you cant never change Persian gulf’s name,it belongs to pure race of Persians,even with billions of dollars,.you can never stand against Iranian people.because”we are here”,till the end and victory is ours with or without “Google”.

  78. ARASH AREF says:

    PERSIAN GULF FOR EVER

  79. Mona says:

    persian gulf for ever
    google doesnot know persian, can you believe gogle , how can we trust google information.

  80. Hossein says:

    It’s a shame to deny history!
    In all historical books has been written “Persian gulf”.
    Google will lose its respect by making fake names instead of real ones.

  81. Hossein says:

    Who??gle is better name for Google after this prank.

  82. Mariam says:

    PERSIAN GULF IS JUST LIKE THE ENGLISH MONARCHY, IT WILL ETERNALLY LAST AS LONG AS IRAN EXIST.

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